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Open AccessEssay

Human Ecology and Its Influence in Urban Theory and Housing Policy in the United States

City and Metropolitan Planning, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 60608, USA
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3020056
Received: 24 February 2019 / Revised: 14 May 2019 / Accepted: 18 May 2019 / Published: 22 May 2019
Human ecology, a stream of planning, was developed by Park, Burgess, and Hoyt. This theoretical model emphasized mobility and assimilation as natural paths to housing. This essay offers an analysis of its influence on urban theory and policymaking in the United States. Using planning-specific analyses, the author interrogates the relationships between structural and ecological interpretations of urban change within early planning theory. A particular focus is given to housing policies and models such as tipping point, segregation, and gentrification. These human ecological interpretations inspired and shaped urban renewal and redlining practices, along with public and affordable housing in the United States. The essay concludes with a criticism of the ecological ideas of spontaneous order and the claims of naturally balancing economic systems and conceptions of personal responsibility and choice.
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Keywords: Chicago school; neighborhood change; urban renewal; redlining; tipping point; segregation; gentrification; personal responsibility Chicago school; neighborhood change; urban renewal; redlining; tipping point; segregation; gentrification; personal responsibility
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García, I. Human Ecology and Its Influence in Urban Theory and Housing Policy in the United States. Urban Sci. 2019, 3, 56.

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